Washington: A new study by an Indian origin scientist has identified a major reason why melanoma is largely resistant to chemotherapy.UC Irvine dermatologist Dr. Anand Ganesan and colleagues found a genetic pathway in melanoma cells that inhibits the cellular mechanism for detecting DNA damage wrought by chemotherapy, thereby building up tolerance to cancer-killing drugs.Targeting this pathway, comprising the genes RhoJ and Pak1, heralds a new approach to treating the deadly skin cancer. “If we can find a way to turn off the pathway responsible for this resistance, melanoma tumors would suddenly become sensitive to therapies we’ve been using for the last 20 years,” said Ganesan, assistant professor of dermatology and biological chemistry at UCI.In pursuit of a cause for the chemo tolerance, he and his colleagues performed a genome-wide scan for genes controlling drug resistance in melanoma cells. Their search identified RhoJ, a gene normally involved in blood vessel growth.
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